December 2, 2019 / 7:49 AM / 14 days ago

Wall collapse from heavy rain kills 17 in India's Tamil Nadu

A woman prepares to remove rainwater from her house after heavy rains in Chennai, India, December 2, 2019. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Heavy rains from the retreating monsoon brought down a compound wall in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, killing 17, said police officials from Mettupalayam town, about 500 kilometres from its capital city Chennai.

Efforts to rescue any people who may be trapped, and clear the debris from the compound wall, which fell on houses close by, were still in progress, a senior police officer from the area told Reuters by phone on Monday.

India saw its wettest monsoon in a quarter of a century and rains have lasted longer this year, triggering floods and killing hundreds of people.

The monsoon’s withdrawal, which begins early October and is the main source of rain for the south-eastern states, was delayed.

Weather officials in Chennai issued a red alert to six districts on Sunday and warned fishermen against going to sea due to cyclonic storms.

Meanwhile, schools in some parts of the state declared a holiday on Monday, local media reported.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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